Here is a quick mnemonic/memory aid “CHARACTERS“ to remember about the Characteristic Findings In Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
C – Counting rituals: Frequent engagement in counting activities, such as counting steps or objects, is a common characteristic.
H – Handwashing: Obsessive fear of contamination often leads to compulsive handwashing rituals to alleviate anxiety.
A – Arranging items: Individuals with OCD may feel compelled to arrange objects in specific orders or patterns to achieve a sense of order and control.
R – Repeating actions: Repetitive behaviors, like going through the same action multiple times, are a hallmark feature of OCD.
A – Anxiety and distress: Persistent anxiety and distress are intrinsic to the obsessions and compulsions experienced by individuals with OCD.
C – Checking behaviors: Frequent checking and rechecking, such as ensuring doors are locked or appliances are turned off, are common compulsions.
T – Thoughts of harm: Intrusive, distressing thoughts about causing harm to oneself or others are a significant aspect of OCD.
E – Excessive doubt: Excessive doubts and fears about one’s actions or potential consequences contribute to the obsessive nature of the disorder.
R – Ritualized routines: Establishing strict, ritualized routines becomes a way to manage anxiety and maintain a sense of control.
S – Symmetry and precision: A fixation on symmetry and precision may lead to compulsive behaviors aimed at achieving perfect balance and order.